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in the U.S.
since 1880
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Blizzard mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Blizzard

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Bliz"zard
A gale of piercingly cold wind, usually accompanied with fine and blinding snow; a furious blast.

Etymology: Cf. Blaze to flash. Formerly, in local use, a rattling volley; cf. “to blaze away” to fire away

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A series of unexpected and unpleasant occurrences ("a blizzard of lawsuits")
  2. A storm with widespread snowfall accompanied by strong winds


Etymology Theories
  • The earliest written use of blizzard as a term to describe a severe snow storm, spelled "blizard" was in the Estherville, Iowa, Northern Vindicator on 23 April 1870. O.C. Bates neologistic editor of The Northern Vindicator used it for the terrific snowstorms in the state that spring. He claimed he had picked up the term from -locals characterizing a "Lightning Ellis", on account of his violent out bursts. One week later it appeared again in the same newspaper, only with the now common double-z spelling.
  • Blizzard possibly comes from the surname "Blizzard" dating back to 1700s(?). Blizzard surname possibly comes from the blizzard one, dating back to the 1500s(?).
  • The word blizzard was used (not in relation to the weather) in America prior to 1870. It had various, roughly associated, now obsolete meanings:
•Blast with a firearm or cannon (whether one or multiple bullets or pellets uncertain)
•Verbal blast
•Blast with a firearm or cannon (single ball or bullet):
•Blazing fire
•Heavy or painful physical blow (not involving a firearm)
•Literal or figurative attack
•Exclamation (like “the blazes” or “blue blazes")
•Blast with multiple firearms or with a firearm loaded with multiple pellets
•Shot of liquor
  • Probably from the German blitzartig (“very fast, like lightning”)
  • Another version suggests French blesser (to wound) , but neither this nor the German can be substantiated. Yet another claims that blizzard derives from English dialect blizzer, meaning "a blaze" or "flash" ("Put towthry sticks on th' fire, an' let's have a blizzer," - The English Dialect Dictionary) or from blazer (something that blazes or blasts), which gave the early sense "a volley of firing guns," that is, a general "blazing away."
  • Thomas Ratcliffe of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, in the March 17, 1888, edition

BLIZZARD (7th S. v. 106).—The word blizzard is well known through the Midlands, and its cognates are fairly numerous. I have known the word and its kin fully thirty years. Country folk use the word to denote blazing, blasting, blinding, dazzling, or stifling. One who has had to face a severe storm of snow, hail, rain, dust, or wind, would say on reaching shelter that he has "faced a blizzer," or that the storm was "a regular blizzard." A blinding flash of lightning would call forth the exclamation, "My! that wor a blizzomer!" or "That wor a blizzer!" "Put towthry sticks on th' fire, an let's have a blizzer"—a blaze. "A good blizzom" = a good blaze. "That tree is blizzared" = blasted, withered. As an oath the word is often used, and "May I be blizzerded" will be readily understood.

  • A check of some of the Midlands regional glossaries printed in the 1800s finds several entries for blizzy. First, from Anne Baker, Glossary of Northamptonshire words and phrases (1854):

BLIZZY. A blaze. "Blow the fire, and let's have a nice blizzy." This, though now considered a vulgarism, is a retention of the original A.-Sax. blysa, a blaze.

And Angelina Parker, A Glossary of Words Used in Oxfordshire (1876):

Blizzy, a flaring fire produced by putting on small sticks. Ex. 'Let's 'a a bit of a blizzy afore us goes to bed.'

And from Barzillai Lowsley, A Glossary of Berkshire Words and Phrases (1888):

BLIZZY.— A blaze. The fire is said to be all of a "blizzy" when pieces of wood have been inserted amongst the coal to make it burn cheerfully.

And from G. F. Northall, A Warwickshire Word-book (1896):

Blizzy, sb. A blaze, a blast, a flare of fire. A.-Sax. blysa, a blaze. Common.

They suggest that blizzy survived from the ancient word blysa in numerous localities and might well share a root with the U.S. blizzard.

  1. A large snowstorm accompanied by strong winds and greatly reduced visibility caused by blowing snow.
  2. (figuratively) A large amount of paperwork.
  3. (figuratively) A large number of similar things.
    a of political ads

blizzard was also found in the following language(s): French

Notable Persons With the Last Name Blizzard

Sara was born in 1970 in Coventry.


Aiden was born on June 27th, 1984 in Shepparton.


William was born on September 19th, 1892. William is also known as American union organizer. He left this life in 1958.


Minister Blizzard is a comics character.


Bob Blizzard is a for Waveney, Member of Parliament, forWaveney, and Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. His most notable accomplishments were from 2008 to 2010. Bob was born on May 31st, 1950 in Bury St Edmunds.


Dominic Blizzard is a soccer player for the Watford F.C., Stockport County F.C., Milton Keynes Dons F.C., Bristol Rovers F.C., Port Vale F.C., Yeovil Town F.C., and Plymouth Argyle F.C. Dominic was born on September 2nd, 1985 in High Wycombe, England.


Where is the name Blizzard popular?

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Popularity of Blizzard as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Blizzard as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Maryland, North Carolina, or Virginia.

Common first names for Blizzard

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Blizzard U.S.
  White 84.30% 64.26%
  African American 10.85% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.49% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.88% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.73% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 1.75% 16.26%

Of Last Name Blizzard

People with the last name Blizzard are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Blizzard

  • How Popular is the name Blizzard? As a last name Blizzard was the 7,481st most popular name in 2010.
  • How unique is the name Blizzard? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Blizzard was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Blizzard: Your name in reverse order is Drazzilb. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Zlbrdaiz. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Blizzard? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 4,453 people with the last name Blizzard.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Blizzard? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 2 of them will have Blizzard as their last name.

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.